Cataline Recommends: In Search of…

Oh my crap this is funny! This is hilarious!

I was rolling my eyes when I saw that this show had been revived with Zachery Quinto filling in for Leonard Nimoy but I was wrong.

It is vastly entertaining, even if it isn’t for the reasons the producers wanted it to be.

The OG In Search Of was very much a product of its time. The Seventies were goofy because Boomers were still doing a lot of drugs back then. And one book that they really loved was Chariots of the Gods.

Chariot’s of the Gods was a monster bestseller that went into ancient alien astronauts. It literally wrote the book on them. A bunch of archeological anomalies were rounded up, declared to be interconnected and aliens were the reason for it.

Sure I was a chump for it but I was little kid. Most of these “theories” wouldn’t survive past the third Reddit comment today but back then there was no internet.

Consequently, mysterious-mystery shows were huge. In the cheaper theaters you would often find a documentary by Sun Classic Pictures. One stand out was In Search of Ancient Astronauts. This was the kinda-sorta pilot for In Search Of…

Every week, if it wasn’t being pre-empted by a ball game, Leonard Nimoy would narrate the exploration of some citadel of mystery.

The surprising thing about In Search Of was just how long it was able to run on this stuff but then Weekly World News was around a lot longer. The Real Mister Spock version was on the air from 1977-1982.

It started with some standard tabloid fair like Bigfoot. But then as time went by the mysteries became a little bit less mysterious. What happened to Amelia Earhart? Was Bruno Hauptmann really the man who kidnaped the Lindbergh baby? Did Hitler die in the Bunker? That kind of thing.

There were a few episodes that were more interesting than others. There was one on Vincent van Gogh that was clearly a passion project for Nimoy because he was starring in a play about Van Gogh’s brother Theo. Then there was one on ferrel children that focused on the French Wolf Boy, although that one stands out to me now because it’s pretty obvious that the boy wasn’t raised by wolves, he was a low functioning autistic who had been left to die in the woods by his parents and was saved as a scientific anomaly.

Like I said, In Search Of proved to have a longer production run than would normally be expected. But in the early eighties mysterious mysteries ran out steam and the show was canceled. Although, I’m honestly shocked that the show wasn’t revived when X-Files was a thing.

Hmmm.

Googling now, and whoops! It was revived with Mitch Pileggi (director Skinner) as the host for one season in 2002. That one flew completely under my radar.

Anyway the pattern of the show was always the same. Outrageous claim is presented as fact. Then a goof-ball is presented as the leading authority on this claim. There is some extraneous filler material that is meant to be supporting evidence. Followed by a nod to sanity by presenting a genuine expert on the subject who will tear the whole thing to pieces in moments. The goof-ball is brought back in to reassert his claim by the simple trick of completely ignoring what the genuine expert had to say. Summation is conducted by Mister Spock using his serious scientific voice.

You will note that I used the present tense in the above paragraph. That is because this is exactly the format that is now being used by the Zachary Quinto version.

The first one I watched was In Search of Time Travel. Question is posed by Fake Spock; is time travel real?

Then the first authority on the subject is brought in, who begins by announcing with perfect conviction, “In 1955 my father was the world’s leading expert on Teleportation.”

When my wife and I finally stopped laughing we had to give credit where it’s due. Zachery Quinto is a drastically under-rated actor. The nodding-thoughtful-attentive-I’m-actually-taking-you-seriously face that Quinto was wearing when this utterly preposterous statement was made, was nothing short of utterly masterful. It was even better than the one I would wear in Sociology when Professor Lieberman would drone on about how great Marxism is.

If you have any fondness for the original and you have had a couple of drinks with a like-minded spouse, the new In Search Of will provide you with hours of entertainment.

Cataline Recommends With Confidence.

2 thoughts on “Cataline Recommends: In Search of…

  1. I remember enjoying that show as a kid. One of the big mysteries in the 70’s was the Bermuda Triangle.

    One thing that definitely helped the show was grainy TV reception.

    Like

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